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Blu-ray Review: Glorious ‘JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

JFK

CHICAGO – Oliver Stone reached the peak of his fascination with controversy, history, and epic productions when he made 1991’s “JFK,” arguably the masterpiece of the director of “Platoon,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Nixon,” and many more beloved films. “JFK” is a remarkable cinematic achievement, a movie that has lost none of its power 22 years after its release, looking like something that could come out today, especially now that we’re in the peak of Kennedy mania as we approach the 50th anniversary of his assassination, one of the most important events in American history.

Film Review: Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ Stalls Out

CHICAGO – There was a time when it looked like not only would Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton be one of our great actors but possibly a threat behind the camera as well. Everyone knows the impression of his character from “Sling Blade” but many forget that he directed it as well. He followed that up with the flawed but ambitious and interesting “All the Pretty Horses.”

Film Review: Uninspired ‘R.I.P.D.’ is a Reminder of Better Movies

R.I.P.D.

CHICAGO – Did everyone see “Men in Black”? Or the film’s two sequels? They you saw “R.I.P.D.,” which unfortunately for the production team has “rip” in the title, because the film is a lazy rewrite and rip-off of “MiB.” Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are the protectors assigned in this one.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘R.I.P.D.’ With Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new 3D supernatural action/adventure “R.I.P.D.” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges!

TV Review: ‘The Following’ Pits Kevin Bacon Against a KIller

CHICAGO – The fascination with extreme criminals basically fuels the most popular prime time TV dramas. In “The Following,” it’s a serial killer – in the mold of Hannibal Lecter – that befuddles an FBI agent portrayed by Kevin Bacon. The premiere is on FOX on January 21st, at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

Blu-ray Review: Four More Warner Bros. Titles Join HD Club

Mean Streets

CHICAGO – Warner Brothers has been unleashing catalog titles on Blu-ray at a rate that would strain the bank account of pro athletes. Every week lately sees a wave of movies that have never been on Blu-ray before joining the HD revolution. This quartet is particularly varied with one timeless classic, an underrated performance from an underrated actor, and two moderate action movies. Pick your favorite. My order of preference is as follows:

Blu-ray Review: Fantastic Ensemble Delivers ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

CHICAGO – Glenn Ficarra & John Requa do strong directorial work yet and the script by Dan Fogelman is strong but “Crazy, Stupid, Love” works primarily due to the sheer, incredible talent of its amazing cast. With a stellar mix of Oscar-nominated veterans, two of the most engaging actors of their generation, and even a few talented newcomers, this is easily one of the best ensembles of the year. They were attracted by a film that treats love like the silly, goofy, wacky, crazy, stupid thing it needs to be. Sure, it’s broad and a bit cliched, but so is its subject matter.

Film Review: ‘Footloose’ Remake Dances to Its Own Tune

CHICAGO – If you’re gonna cut loose, “Footloose,” it is best to do what the production team and cast did in cutting this remake of the 1980s kitschy classic – pay deep homage to the source and modify it with a energetic and contemporary spin on the dance floor.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Footloose’ Lacks Dance, Bores With Hokey Melodrama

Footloose Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – One of the easiest ways for a creatively starved studio to manufacture a box office hit is to bank on the nostalgia of a beloved cult classic. A remake will not only attract old fans but inspire new moviegoers to rent the deluxe edition of the original, now carrying the self important label of, “The Film That Defined a Generation.”

Blu-Ray Review: Stellar Release For Best Summer Superhero Movie ‘X-Men: First Class’

X-Men: First Class (cropped)

CHICAGO – In many ways, “X-Men: First Class” is the most loyal film yet to the Marvel aesthetic in the way director Matthew Vaughn and the film’s multiple screenwriters capture the tone, spirit, and themes of one of the most legendary comic books of all time. It is a spectacular mix of great performances, well-choreographed action, and cleverly-revised history. It is crowd-pleasing to action fans and yet intellectually complex at the same time. It is what more producers of superhero movies should strive to accomplish and it deserves mention with the best of the genre (“Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men,” and even “The Dark Knight”).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Emmy Awards, Bryan Cranston

    LOS ANGELES – It was one more lap around the victory track for the AMC-TV show ‘Breakling Bad,’ as the gritty drama about a teacher turned meth dealer took home six Primetime Emmy Awards at the 66th ceremony on August 25th. ‘Modern Family’ took home the statue for Outstanding Comedy Series for a a fifth straight year.

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

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